If you’ve never dined at chef Marcus Samuelsson’s flagship restaurant, the famed Red Rooster Harlem, add one more stop on your Manhattan “to eat” list. The Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised New Yorker is one of the city’s best-loved chefs and was a cofounder of Food Republic. Naturally, we’re completely excited for his brand-new cookbook that brings the cuisine of Red Rooster and its underground supper club, Ginny’s, right to your home kitchen. Check out this recipe for Samuelsson’s Wild Wild Wings — it’s about as good as a wing recipe gets.
Where there’s a bird, there are wings, and they were meant to be eaten. You can’t eat chicken wings pretty. You get sauce all over your fingers and lips, and you’re a kid again. Your face betrays you. It says, “I ate wings!”
Deep-fried chicken wings dressed with vinegary hot sauce (Frank’s) and butter may have started the craze for Buffalo wings, but there are countless versions now. Ours uses Cholula hot sauce and a good hit of ginger, so the heat is sweet. Start the day before.
Make a quick dip for the wings by stirring ½ cup crumbled blue cheese into ¾ cup plain yogurt. And put out a plate of chilled radishes.
It matters when you get the sauce on the wings. Hot wings and warm sauce will make a marriage.
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Coarse kosher salt
- 3 pounds chicken wings, separated into flats and drumettes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
- 1 cup hot sauce (we use Cholula)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons chipotle powder
- Peanut oil for frying
For the wings
Bring 2 cups of the water, the sugar, and salt to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the remaining 2 cups water and cool the brine completely.
Put the wings in a bowl and pour in the brine, making sure all the wings are submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
For the wing sauce
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic and ginger are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the hot sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes to develop the flavors. You can leave the sauce on the back of the stove until you need it.
For the frying
When you’re ready to fry, drain the wings and pat them dry with paper towels.
Put the flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, and chipotle powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Dredge the wings in the seasoned flour, making sure each piece is well coated. Leave them on a rack while you heat the oil.
Fill a large saucepan one-third full with peanut oil. Set over medium-high heat and heat to 360°F.
Working in batches, fry the wings until they’re fully cooked and golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Keep an eye on the heat and adjust it to keep the oil between 350° and 375°F. Drain the wings on a rack set over a baking sheet.
When you’ve fried all the wings, put them into a large bowl, pour in the wing sauce, and toss to coat all the wings with sauce. Pile the wings onto a platter and serve.